Warehouse K
Who Runs America?
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Something Rotten In Washington

By James Donahue

After months of listening to his campaign rhetoric, the people of the United States had hope and joy in their hearts the day Barack Obama was sworn in as our new President. Everybody knew the nation was in terrible trouble and this upstart young Democrat had promised that he had a plan to fix the mess and get America back on the right track once again.

Some of the television talking heads were even comparing Mr. Obama to the late President John F. Kennedy in those early days, suggesting that a man with the charisma and mental skills that he was demonstrating were just what was needed to offer the kind of bold leadership this nation needed at such a dark time in history. They remarked how amazing it was that such men always seemed to come out of the woodwork when we needed them.

Mr. Obama began with amazing gusto. He appointed his primary Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton to serve as his Secretary of State. He kept his brilliant campaign strategist David Axelrod on as his chief presidential advisor, and made a few early trips to some key foreign nations, assuring the world that the United States will not be doing business as it had been done under the George W. Bush Administration.

All looked good during those first few honeymoon weeks. But then, it appears that Mr. Obama began making some wrong turns. While we were struggling to find a way out of the worst financial crisis the nation has faced since the Great Depression, Timothy Geithner, former president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, was named Secretary of the Treasury. And Ben Bernanke, a Bush appointee, remained on as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. William C. Dudley, a former partner and managing director at Goldman, Sachs & Company, moved into Geithner’s old post as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

These and a list of other choices for top financial advisory jobs were like appointing a den of foxes to oversee the operations of the chicken coop. Even though armed with a Democratic Party control of both the House and the Senate, attempts to repair the financial mess, get control of the runaway banking system, and pour badly needed money into state and local coffers, and expand assistance to the hordes of Americans that have jammed the unemployment rolls, have been lame at best.

While we have had shows of major struggles to overpower Republican efforts to block everything Mr. Obama wanted to accomplish in banking reform, a bill was recently passed that was lauded by the media and even President Obama as “the most important legislation since the Great Depression.” If this is true, why did the value of bank stocks rise sharply on the very day this measure passed? Did investors know something we didn’t?

Notice that the most important legislation – a jobs bill designed to give help to the long-term unemployed, put hundreds of thousands of teachers back to work in financially strapped school systems, stop a 21 percent Medicare pay cut for doctors treating elderly patients and extend business tax breaks – remains blocked in the Senate. All Republican Senators and one Democrat, Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, voted against it.

While we do not yet know the details of the highly clouted banking reform bill, we suspect it may be so filled with loopholes that the banks and lending institutions are still going to be free to run wild with the people’s cash. After all, many of the people holding those high elected offices are lawyers, and lawyers know how to write documents that sound good, but contain hidden subterfuge. If this is true, we must fear another crash, worse than the one that occurred during the last year of the Bush presidency, lurking just around the corner.

The health care battle was another major effort. In the end, the watered-down bill that got through both the House and Senate and was signed into law fell far short of what the people expected and badly needed. Most benefits, if they can even be called that, don’t go into effect until 2014. In the meantime, our legislators are refusing to budge on a badly needed jobs bill that will cover doctor bills for Medicare patients.

The Jobs Bill also would have extended unemployment benefits for hundreds of thousands of out-of-work Americans who have fallen out of any chance for state or federal assistance. We hear that similar decisions are being made by governments throughout Europe, including Canada. World money is in the clutches of the wealthy and the unemployed masses are being thrown to the wolves.

There is an old adage that the only real money is the money that is circulating. The economic climate in America is so bogged down with the money under lock and key in the “Too-Big-To-Fail banks that very little of it is circulating. The United States has been operating on borrowed money from other nations, like China, for too long.

Mr. Obama came into office on a promise to shut down the war in Iraq and start bringing our troops home. While there has been a beginning of a withdrawal from Iraq, there is evidence that our military presence will continue to be present there indefinitely. Our forces bombed that nation into destruction and withdrawal now would leave that war-torn nation in chaos and caught up in a three-way civil war.

Mr. Obama has followed the advice of the generals in the Pentagon, kept the very people who have been operating the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in charge, and expanded the war in Afghanistan. Troops are still dying on both fronts. Those two wars, plus an aerial battle with drones in Pakistan, have now cost the United States just over one trillion dollars since Bush launched the first assault on Afghanistan in 2001. We are pouring billions of borrowed money into those military operations with no end in sight. Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan is in any way a threat to the security of the United States.

What appears to have been happening is that our government has been taken over by big business interests, including the massive military industrial complex created during World War II. The people that control these big banks, insurance companies and industrial centers appear to have put almost every member of the House and Senate, many of the Supreme Court members, possibly our president and many of his top advisors on corporate payrolls.

What is going on these days in Washington is nothing more than a charade. The people in office are putting on a public show that makes it appear as if they are trying to get things done. Once in a while they throw the public a bone to keep everybody assured that all is well, when in truth, it is not.

Even worse, we suspect much of the national media has bought right into the trickery. Reporters no longer dig for the truth. One of the last ones that did was Helen Thomas, and look what they did to her.